ERIC Number: ED373395
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding the Principal's Contribution to Instruction: Seven Principals, Seven Stories. Case #3: Ray Murdock, Principal of a Rural Elementary School.
Dwyer, David C.; And Others
This case study presents findings from a year-long ethnographic study of a principal at a dilapidated rural elementary school with arid, dusty surroundings. It concludes one of seven studies conducted in elementary and intermediate schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings to investigate the instructional management roles of principals. Although previous research offers disparate viewpoints about the potency of principals as instructional leaders and managers, this series finds that principals can significantly alter their schools' instructional systems and students' social and academic experiences. Using observations of principals' activities and interviews with students and staff, the seemingly chaotic behavior or principals may be construed as purposive. Activities comprise nine categories (goal setting and planning; monitoring; evaluating; communicating; scheduling, allocating resources, and organizing; staffing; modeling; governing; and filling in). The purposes or targets behind principals' activities include work structure, staff relations, student relations, safety and order, plant and equipment, community relations, institutional relations, and institutional ethos. Principal Ray Murdock's routine behaviors involved communicating; monitoring; scheduling, allocating resources, and organizing; governing; and filling in. Murdock's primary target was work structure. Nominated by state education officers for superior instructional leadership, Murdock emerged as a cultural leader who continually imbued staff and students with his beliefs and values about living and learning. (Contains 64 references.) (MLH)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Behavior Patterns, Case Studies, Communication (Thought Transfer), Educational Environment, Elementary Education, Ethnography, Instructional Leadership, Interpersonal Competence, Leadership Qualities, Principals, Qualitative Research, Rural Schools, School Culture, Values, Work Environment
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA. Instructional Management Program.
Identifiers: California (San Francisco Bay Area)
Note: Prepared under the "Instructional Management Program". For Volume 1 ("Methodology") and the other case studies, see EA 025 987-994.